CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: 2017 Fellowship to theOffice

Looking for a writer’s sanctuary? A place where you can leave the distractions of life behind and sit down in peace to put words on the page? That’s what we offer here at theOffice – a quiet, communal workspace on the westside of Los Angeles. We have a roster of A-list screenwriters, novelists and more, but sometimes the cost of membership can be too much for up-and-coming writers. That’s why we started our free fellowship over 7 years ago and we’re thrilled once again to offer it to you.

Announcing the 2017 FREE 6-MONTH FELLOWSHIP TO THEOFFICE!

It works like this:

You send us a sample of your best piece of writing along with a short email explaining why this fellowship is right for you. Our judges select one winner who will receive 6 months of free 24/7* access to the space. This is equivalent to a Premium Membership, the highest level of membership we offer, worth upwards of $2700. The winner gets a private door code to access the space even when staff isn’t here. You wanna write at 2AM on a Wednesday night? The space is all yours. You also get all the other perks of membership including free coffee/tea, Wifi, Aeron workstations and all the peace and quiet you need to get the job done.

theOfficeThis year’s fellowship starts September 1st and goes through February 28th, 2018. It is completely free to enter. The winner will be announced the last week of August. Open to all new/aspiring/up-and-coming writers who are looking to kick their productivity into overdrive. Think of this as your own writer’s retreat right here in the city.

This year’s fellowship will be judged by 3 current members of theOffice:

Mark Cullen
A Hollywood vet and longtime member here at theOffice, Mark is the creator of numerous TV shows including Mr. Robinson (with Craig Robinson), Back in the Game (James Caan), Heist, Gary the Rat (Kelsey Grammer) and Lucky (John Corbett). He also co-wrote the feature Cop Out (with Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan).

Nicole LaPorte
Nicole is a contributing writer for Fast Company magazine, where she writes about entertainment business and technology. She was formerly a Senior West Coast reporter for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and a monthly columnist for the New York Times Sunday Business section. She’s also the author of The Men Who Would Be King: Moguls, Movies and a Company called DreamWorks.

David Scarpa
David’s screenplay All the Money in the World made the 2015 Blacklist and is currently filming with Ridley Scott at the helm, starring Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Spacey and Michelle Williams. Other screenwriting credits include The Day the Earth Stood Still (Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates) and The Last Castle (Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo).

Pretty cool, right? Okay, so here’s what we need from you…

  1. An email with your contact information: Full name, phone, and email address. We will contact the winner via email.
  2. In the body of the email, please briefly explain why you want this fellowship and what you hope to gain from it.
  3. A 10 page pdf writing sample of your work. Attach this to the email. Your best 10 pages. Do not submit pages that need to be set up or explained. Send 10 pages that stand alone. Only pdf submissions please. All other attachments will be deleted.

Email to: theOfficeFellowship@gmail.com by August 8th, 2017. That’s it. You’re done!


theOffice3Some important points to remember:

  • Do your research on theOffice. Don’t submit if you’re not local, if you’re not sure you’ll be available, if you don’t like writing in a room with others. If you live across town and hate the commute, this isn’t right for you. If you don’t flourish in a quiet space, skip it. We want this to be of major value to the winner. Serious submissions only, please.
  • If you’ve never been to theOffice and would like to try things out before submitting, please do! We offer a FREE WEEK to all newcomers. Just be sure to call or email us first, on the day, for availability. Contact info here. More photos of the space here.
  • The fellowship is open to ALL up-and-coming writers. Submit 10 pages of your screenplay, play, short story, novel, memoir, poem, article, etc. We’ll read it all.
  • By “up-and-coming” we mean you can have no feature film credits as a writer on IMDb (short films are okay) and no more than 1 hour of television credit as a writer on IMDb. For authors, we just want to make sure you’re not someone with a three book deal and money to spare. This is for new/aspiring/struggling writers only.
  • DEADLINE TO ENTER IS AUGUST 8th, 2017. No submissions accepted past midnight PST.
  • You must have sole writing credit for the sample pages you submit. This fellowship is for one (1) free premium membership and is non-transferable.
  • If you have any questions, please either comment here, email theOfficeFellowship@gmail.com or ask us on Twitter: @theOffice_LA. theOffice staff will NOT be able to assist you with the fellowship, so please DO NOT call, email, or drop by theOffice with fellowship questions.
  • Current members of theOffice are not eligible.
  • Winner will be notified and announced by August 31st.

This is an opportunity to take your craft and career to the next level. If you are looking for a place to be inspired, a place to write with the big guns, a place to get it done, submit now. We look forward to reading your work!theOffice Exterior

*theOffice is closed to ALL members on Mondays 6PM-11PM and Saturdays 8AM-10AM due to outside rentals. Otherwise, the space is yours.

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Celebrate the Small Victories

Writers tend to aim really high. We want to sell a screenplay and see it on the big screen. We want to write a novel and watch it rise on the NY Times bestseller list. We want Terry Gross to grill us on our upbringing before we dive into discussion of our work. 

tumblr_inline_mwj3tp1Wa01qcju9uFor the most part, it’s probably good to aim high. Especially if it inspires dedicated hard work and focus. 

But if your ultimate goal is a tough one to reach, it’ll be awhile until you arrive at it. Not to mention that long uphill hike towards success can be a daunting one. Some days you may feel that your dreams are completely impossible. It’s scary; and the only way to persevere is to figure out how to cope with these feelings.

First up, you have to accept that achieving a goal doesn’t necessarily equal happiness. You will still be the same person you are now, just with a prettier resume. Okay, and more money. But studies show that after a certain point income gains don’t equal happiness gains. Attributing happiness with mega-success is dangerous. It allows us to ignore our current emotional state by convincing ourselves that we’ll be happy “later”.  But what if you reach your goal and you still aren’t happy? Success is not the end all be all. Oftentimes it brings about new problems. Ones that you wouldn’t have been able to fathom before. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, discusses life after success in her Ted Talk

Every way you look at it, Gilbert “made it”. She wrote a huge a144e7f99ea4e6756fd89e50cd6f0beeadb7abda_1600x1200bestselling book that became a Julia Roberts movie. It made Gilbert famous; she’s one of a handful of authors that actually gets recognized in public. Her second book was eagerly anticipated by many, and that terrified her. She felt paralyzed by the fact that it would be impossible to please everyone with book #2. She explains, “…all of those people who had adored Eat, Pray, Love were going to be incredibly disappointed in whatever I wrote next because it wasn’t going to be Eat, Pray, Love  and all of those people who had hated Eat, Pray, Love  were going to be incredibly disappointed in whatever I wrote next because it would provide evidence that I still lived.”

She found herself feeling oddly similar to who she was long before success hit. The person who received an endless line of rejection letters in her mailbox. The person who felt like a failure. Gilbert hypothesizes that her success felt reminiscent of her time as a “failure” because both states are miles outside of any sort of comfort zone. There is great insecurity that comes along with success and failure. It can totally squash any desire to do creative work. But Gilbert found her way back home. “Home” in Gilbert’s case, was writing. She said, “I realized that all I had to do was exactly the same thing that I used to have to do all the time when I was an equally disoriented failure. I had to get my ass back to work…” Her second book bombed. And it was fine. Because she returned to writing, released another one, and it did great. And that’s fine, too.

The happiness that we all seek doesn’t come from the awards and the glamour and the money. It has to come from the process and the journey. Everything else is just a nice plus.

So, find things in your current day to day life that make you happy.  In, “Your Not Doing Life Wrong,” from zenhabits, Leo Babauta says,

“For just a moment, pause where you are, and soak in the current state of the room around you, and your own state. Just notice what this is like.rooftop-edinburgh_67932_990x742

Now see how this moment is enough. Just as it is. Without any need for improvement. It is a wonder, and there’s no need for more.

Now see how you are enough. Just as you are. Without any need for improvement. You are also a wonder, exactly enough.

You can go about your day, pausing every now and then to do a check: is this moment enough? Are you enough? And try answering, “Yes, absolutely and wonderfully.”

What if the best day of your life passes right through you and you don’t notice it because you were busy imagining a future that doesn’t and may not ever exist?

Value the time you have with your friends and family. Notice the lady who makes your coffee every morning and always has something funny to say. Appreciate the things that are working out right now.

Enjoy this time of writing on spec, not under deadline, without notes you disagree with and the risk of being fired. You might even miss this time one day. 

And finally, celebrate the small writing victories. 

I recently saw my ten minute play performed in Colorado. It’s easy to lessen the situation and belittle it:  it was community theater, the theater wasn’t huge, blah blah blah… But that’s not what I focus on. I focus on the fact that for the first time in my life I was paid to write. My play was one of five selected out of hundreds. People laughed at words that I wrote. It was the first time I felt respected as a writer. 

Yes, I’m aiming high too. My goals go beyond community theatre, but this was a huge victory for me. So I stopped and took it all in and it made me happy. I think it’s little victories like this that keep us going towards the big goals. 

Celebrate yours. Did you get sidewalk-flower-2your friends together for a reading of your work? Did your writers group like your stuff? Did a mentor of yours give you good feedback? In the middle of your latest rejection letter, was there a small personalized encouragement this time? An editor hoping you’ll keep trying? 

 

For a few moments, let that be enough. It feels good. 

All About Books

This week, we’ve found some great articles and resources all revolving around the subject of BOOKS!

1. Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro have an interesting discussion on genre.imgres

2. Adam Gopnik talks about what it really means for us when yet another book store closes its doors.

3. It is now common practice for Western books to be censored in China.

4. And here’s a piece all about bibliotherapy, where a patient is prescribed novels for therapeutic effect. The piece then delves into the question of whether or not reading can make you happy.

What’s your excuse for not reading enough?

Not sure what to read? Try the site What Should I Read Next. When you enter a book you’ve enjoyed, the site will offer you a similar book suggestions from its huge database. Or check out this fun map and find your next read by first selecting the location you’d like it to be set in.

Can’t afford to buy books? Besides using a library, you can check out Project Gutenberg: it’s a library of over 49,000 free public domain ebooks. Here’s a list of the most popular books on the site.

Need some motivation? Here‘s an article on how to read more & get the most out of it.bookz

“With books there is no forced sociability. If we pass the evening with those friends—books—it’s because we really want to. When we leave them, we do so with regret and, when we have left them, there are none of those thoughts that spoil friendship: ‘What did they think of us?’—‘Did we make a mistake and say something tactless?’—‘Did they like us?’—nor is there the anxiety of being forgotten because of displacement by someone else.”

Marcel Proust

Quote of the Day

the-virgin-suicides_zps6432a11b

We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors went together. We knew that the girls were our twins, that we all existed in space like animals with identical skins, and that they knew everything about us though we couldn’t fathom them at all. We knew, finally, that the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.

Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides

Links for Writers: Fun Stuff to Read this Week

The Electric Typewriter // It appears that someone put a lot of time into this compilation of “articles and essays by the world’s best journalists and writers.” A lot of good stuff to be found here.

That Way We’re All Writing Now by Clive Thompson // You’ll see a lot tweets and status updates starting with the phrase, “That moment when…” “Or that awkward moment when…” It’s not technically a sentence. Where does it come from, and why is it so effective, or at least, so popular?

How to be a writer by Paul Duginski, Jon Schleuss, Joy Press and Carolyn Kellogg // Here’s cute “game” the LA Times created to take you on the path of the life of a writer. Roll the dice!

Did a Human or a Computer Write This? // Take the quiz – guess which sentences were written by humans and which were written by computers. The scary part… it’s really hard to tell.

Watch Me Write This Article by Chadwick Matlin // This article looks into the app, Draftback, who’s creator, “hacked Google Docs to play documents back to their authors, materializing on the screen with every stutter-step inherent to the writing process… Draftback can reach deep into the archives of any Google Doc you have editing rights to, make sense of all that writing and rewriting you innocuously poured into it, and beam it right back to you, backspaces and all.” It’s an interesting read, and at the end, the author allows us to see the playback of entire writing process behind this article.

Lessons learnt from a year of writing by Colin Walker // This fellow wrote every day for a year and lived to tell the tale. Check out what he learned from the experience, and where he’s at now. I think there are some fresh perspectives in here.

Another video from the Academy’s Creative Spark series. Watch Dustin Lance Black’s incredible & exhaustive writing process. He is relentless it is inspiring.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: 2015 Fellowship to theOffice

Office_verticalLooking for a writer’s sanctuary? A place where you can leave the distractions of life behind and just sit down in peace to put words on the page? That’s what we offer here at theOffice – a quiet, communal workspace on the westside of Los Angeles. We have a roster filled with A-list screenwriters, novelists and more, but sometimes the cost of membership can be too much for up-and-coming writers. That’s why five years ago we started our free fellowship to theOffice. And we’re happy once again to offer it to you.

Announcing our 5th Annual Free 6-Month Fellowship to theOffice.

It works like this:

You send us an example of your best piece of writing along with a paragraph or two explaining why this fellowship would help you. We select one winner who will receive 6 months of free 24/7* access to the space. This is equivalent to a Premium Membership, the highest level of membership we offer, worth upwards of $2500. Winner gets his/her own door code to the space with the ability to come and go even when staff isn’t here. You wanna write at 2AM on a Wednesday night? The space is all yours. You also get all the other perks of membership including unlimited, free coffee & tea, wifi, ergonomic workstations with Aeron chairs, a small reference library and all the peace and quiet you can handle.

The fellowship starts May 1st and goes through October 31st, 2015. It is completely free to enter. Winner will be announced the last week of April. Contest is open to all new/aspiring/struggling writers who are looking to kick their productivity into overdrive.

Here’s what past winner, Omar Singer, had to say about his experience.p5 (2)

Think of this as your very own writer’s retreat right here in the city.

Here’s what we need from you:

  • An email with your contact information: Full name, phone, and email address. We will contact the winner via email.
  • In the body of the email, please explain why you need this fellowship and what you hope to gain from it. (200 words or less, please)
  • A 10 page .pdf writing sample of your work. Attach this to the email. Your best 10 pages. Do not submit pages that need to be set up or explained. Send 10 pages that stand alone. Only pdf submissions. All other attachments will be deleted.

Email to: theOfficeFellowship(at)gmail(dot)com by April 15, 2015. That’s it. You’re done!

Some important points to remember:

  • Do your research on theOffice. Don’t submit if you’re not local, if you’re not sure you’ll be available, if you don’t like writing in a room with others. Be honest, if you live in Pasadena and won’t want to drive across town to write every day, then this fellowship isn’t for you. If you don’t flourish in a quiet space, skip it. We want this to be of major value to the winner. Serious submissions only please.
  • If you’ve never been to theOffice and would like to try it out before submitting, please do! You’re welcome to do the FREE WEEK. Just be sure to call first for availability. Contact info here. More photos of the space here.
  • The field is open to ALL new writers. Submit 10 pages of your screenplay, play, short story, novel, memoir, poem, article etc. We’ll read it all.
  • By “new writers” we mean you can have no feature film credits as a writer on IMDb (short films are okay) and no more than 1 hour of television credit as a writer on IMDb. For fiction writers, we just want to make sure you’re not someone with a three book deal and money to spare. Key words here are new/aspiring/struggling.
  • DEADLINE to enter is April 15th, 2015. No submissions accepted past midnight PST.
  • You must have sole writing credit for the sample pages you submit. This fellowship is for one (1) free membership and is non-transferrable.
  • If you have any questions, please comment here, email the fellowship gmail address listed above or ask us on Twitter: @theOffice_LA. theOffice staff will NOT be able to assist you with the fellowship so please DO NOT call, email, or drop by theOffice with questions.
  • Winner will be announced and notified by April 30th.p2

This fellowship is an opportunity to take your craft and your career to the next level. If you are looking for a place to be inspired, a place to write with the big guns, a place to GET IT DONE, submit now. We look forward to reading your work!

*theOffice is closed to ALL members Mondays 6PM-11PM, Saturdays 8AM-10AM, Sundays 8AM-10:30AM due to outside rentals. Otherwise, the space is yours.